There are many types of conservation. On of the most important is the conservation of our natural resources. The RRRs help keep the resources we have already harvested or mined in the production stream, allowing less land to be mined or cut and putting less waste in the ground. Reducing and reusing are the most important. They negate all need for energy use in the production of materials. Yet, sometimes recycling is the only plausible option.
On the surface, it seems that recycling uses a lot of energy:
Trucks, sorters, processing, etc. But if you look at the big picture, recycling is much more energy and resource efficient. Consider the life of a recycled can vs. a can made from raw materials.
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